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Shahbaz Sharif, five cops summoned

June 10, 2003

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LAHORE, June 9: An anti-terrorism court on Monday summoned PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and five police officials, including a former Lahore SSP, for Tuesday in a case, accusing them of having murdered five youths in a staged police encounter in the Sabzazar area four years back.

The court directed that all respondents should appear before it so that it could proceed further. In this case, former SSP Lahore Ahmad Raza Tahir, DSP Umar Virk, SSP Khanewal Aslam Sahi, Wahdat Colony SHO Babar Ashraf and ASI Muhammad Zulfiqar have been held accused besides former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Allegedly, the five police officials shot dead two youths —- Salahuddin and Waseem —- along with the three others in a staged police encounter in the Sabzazar area in 1998. The FIR lodged in March, 1999, on orders of the Lahore High Court further stated that this encounter was staged under directives from then chief minister Shahbaz Sharif who, according to the complainant, used extra-judicial killings to control crime.

The chargesheet was delayed for over one year by the police on the pretext that the original record of the case could not be produced owing to certain administrative problems. However, the chargesheet was finally put up before the court last month, after which the court issued orders for initiating further proceedings.